This argument for the unbanning of liquor and cigarettes, recently reiterated by the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) shadow Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Dean Macpherson, continues to be a flash point of national debate.
South Africa’s ban on tobacco and alcohol — aimed at easing pressure on the country’s healthcare system — continues to have a devastating impact on the country’s economic prospects.
Coinciding with looming legal action — with British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA) heading to the Western Cape High Court to argue for the sale of cigarettes and the Restaurants Association of South Africa (Rasa) proposing a district-based approach to alcohol consumption — the DA has called on government to put an immediate stop to the prolonged prohibition.
As the government begins to reopen most sectors of the South African economy — according to a balanced approach which assesses the need to save both lives and livelihoods — the science behind the alcohol and tobacco ban has come under fire, with surveys around the latter burning holes in the National Coronavirus Command Council’s (NCCC) fundamental arguments.
Macpherson cites counter-arguments for “nimble” alcohol regulations made by Glenda Gray, President of the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC), who, while tasked with advising the government on a scientific approach to lockdown restrictions, had an infamous spat with Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
The government recently decided to reinstitute the alcohol ban, citing a massive surge in booze-related trauma incidents which piled pressure on healthcare services. Macpherson says that this argument has been disproven by Gray, adding: “In a polite way, Dr Gray is saying that there is no longer any use for the ban and that we must ‘look at livelihoods’ as she put it.
“Dr Gray has further stated that there has not been the excessive pressure on hospitals which is what we were told the second ban was needed to avoid. “For a government that has proudly proclaimed that it is ‘led by science’, throughout this national lockdown, President Ramaphosa has seemingly gone out of his way to prove the very opposite.”
Macpherson added that the renewed ban had backed industry stakeholders into a corner, with the burgeoning black market trade ready to capitalise where law-abiding business owners and citizens feared to tread.
Similarly, the blanket ban on the sale and purchase of cigarettes — which has been in place since lockdown was first instituted in late March — has cost government billions of rands in uncollected excise duties.
It’s estimated that for every day South Africa has languished under lockdown, state coffers have been unable to absorb R35 million which has since been funnelled into the illicit trade. Macpherson added: “The ban on tobacco products has only led to cigarette smugglers becoming obscenely rich . . . criminalising South Africans for buying cigarettes.”
The NCCC, led by Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and President Ramaphosa, has defended both bans before judges and the media, recently hitting back at BATSA with evidence from a “peer-reviewed journal” which determines the tobacco ban as “necessary”.
- Best friends murdered in orange farm
- Mom to be Minnie Dlamini- Jones can’t wait to experience motherhood
- Slain detective Charl Kinnear praised for his tireless commitment
- 27-year-old gets two life sentences for murder and rape of girl, 9
WHATSAPP: +27 81 530 2411
EMAIL: [email protected]
“THIS IS A PLOT TO TARNISH MY NAME!”
Former Scandal Actress Kgomotso Christopher ditches the trophy wife stereotype in new M-Net’s Legacy
Isibaya actor Nkanyiso Mzimela (Melusi) going through a tough time after his parent’s divorce
Inmate Andile Lungisa’s bail bid to be heard four days into his jail term
27-year-old gets two life sentences for murder and rape of girl, 9
Celebs5 days ago
Gomora actor Ntobeko Sishi’s father has died
local6 days ago
‘Curfew not good for my pierced [email protected]!’
Celebs7 days ago
Boity Summer Body Pictures Breaks The Internet!
Celebs3 days ago
Khanyi Mbau and Lasizwe’s father Menzi Mcunu has died
local7 days ago
“If we can block border for two days, there will be no toilet paper in Zimbabwe”
local5 days ago
Girl causes storm on Social Media after calling Men to marry women who pay 50% on bills
Celebs4 days ago
Somizi’s hubby Mohale gets a new multi-million rand Car
local5 days ago
Whats Going On – 4-5s HIT THE GYM